Your New Favorite Lunch: Beet + Quinoa Salad

This is one of those ingredient combinations that, like the Little Black Dress, always seems to be in style, and it’s no wonder: earthy, sweet beets, sharp and creamy blue cheese, and bitter greens simply go together beautifully. Quinoa provides additional texture and protein.

This vinaigrette’s flavors grow more robust if allowed to sit at room temperature for at least one day.

Beet + Quinoa Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients for vinaigrette

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1⁄3 cup (1. ounces/45 grams) walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup (2 ounces/60 grams) watercress with stems
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for salad

  • 3 cups (18 ounces/540 grams) cooked quinoa
  • 8 ounces/225 grams cooked red or golden beets, cut into slices or wedges
  • 2 ounces/60 grams Stilton cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Finely chop the garlic. Add the walnuts to the cutting board on top of the garlic and chop them finely. Transfer the garlic–walnut mixture to a medium bowl. Finely chop the watercress and add it to the bowl. Add the vinegar, mustard, and orange zest and whisk to combine. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

2. Divide the quinoa evenly among 4 plates. Top each quinoa mound with an equal amount of beets. Sprinkle the beets with cheese, whisk the dressing to recombine, and dress each salad with 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Cover Photo Credit: Shutterstock

This recipe is excerpted from The Quinoa [Keen-Wah] Cookbook.

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